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Public Discussions

GreenCine Movie Talk
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.

Luchino Visconti
Topic by: Eoliano
Posted: January 23, 2003 - 3:57 AM PST
Last Reply: March 3, 2004 - 5:43 PM PST

author topic: Luchino Visconti
post #1  on January 23, 2003 - 3:57 AM PST  
>> jaquestati wrote:

>re rocco and his brothers..... how cut up is this print? the one i keep seeing on TCM is all cut to shreads :(

The Image Entertainment DVD of Rocco and His Brothers is quite good and uncut, though it deserves a better DVD transfer and Criterion sort of treatment.

I've never noticed that Rocco was ever on TCM. When did you see it there?

If you haven't seen Visconti's Ossessione or La Terra Trema, they are both available to rent at GC.

post #2  on January 23, 2003 - 4:32 AM PST  
I'm waiting for the DVD of Il Gattopardo/The Leopard to be released in the US, but I'm not holding my breath.
I am waiting for the DVD of Il Gattopardo/The Leopard to be released in the US, but I'm not holding my breath.

It's available in Italy though, and it's a very fine transfer, although it looks very different from the prints that I've seen on the big screen over here. It's the same cut; it's just that the color seems different, perhaps because of the fact that they represent different elements.
post #3  on January 23, 2003 - 4:49 AM PST  
It's very brief, especially when you consider Visconti's combined career in theater, opera and cinema, but the DVD documentary Luchino Visconti: A Portrait is worth the rental, especially if you appreciate his work.
post #4  on January 27, 2003 - 4:19 PM PST  
Just announced: Another Region 2 DVD of Visconti's The Leopard is scheduled for UK release on February 24 - the running time is said to be 195 minutes, whereas the Italian Medusa DVD is 180 minutes -no further information is at hand just yet, except that it's a 20th Century Fox release, of course.

post #5  on January 27, 2003 - 4:44 PM PST  
Just to rant a little further...

The 195 minute running time of the UK DVD release of The Leopard is the same running time of the UK theatrical release, and if the Italian DVD's running time is 180 minutes, it can't possibly be Visconti's original uncut version of the film, which is 205 minutes!

It makes me wonder what source cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno worked with when committing the film to DVD. I have seen the restored version of The Leopard several times in the States and it ran well over 180 minutes.

The IMDB lists a complete cut of The Leopard at 205 minutes, which seems about right.

post #6  on February 15, 2003 - 10:04 AM PST  
Thanks to David Hudson for pointing this out:

Here is a David Thomson Guardian article on Luchino Visconti and the upcoming BFI NFT retrospective.

post #7  on February 15, 2003 - 10:05 AM PST  
Not to vilify Thomson's comments of Visconti's later work in the above article, since Thomson certainly is entitled to his opinion (hes one writer I most enjoy disagreeing with). But just to balance the scales a bit, here is Peter Bradshaws Guardian mini-review of Death in Venice.
post #8  on February 15, 2003 - 10:06 AM PST  
Not to vilify Thomson's comments of Visconti's later work in the above article, since Thomson certainly is entitled to his opinion (hes one writer I most enjoy disagreeing with). But just to balance the scales a bit, here is Peter Bradshaw's Guardian mini-review of Death in Venice.
post #9  on November 30, 2003 - 10:52 AM PST  
In February, Warner Bros. will release Death in Venice and The Damned.

Will Fox follow suit and release a long overdue SE of The Leopard?
post #10  on December 27, 2003 - 2:23 AM PST  
Actally, it seems that Criterion (yay!) will be handling the domestic release of The Leopard, while the bfi will be releasing the UK disc:

"bfi Video is currently working on the production of The Leopard in conjunction with Twentieth Century Fox and the Criterion Collection, for release on both DVD and VHS formats."

The above quote and more info on the bfi edition can be found here.

The following exchange from an interview with Criterion's Jon Mulvaney makes it clear that other Fox titles will be handled by Criterion, as well:

Criterion Collection Forum: The November release of David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch gives credence to the rumor that Criterion is now able to license titles from Fox. Can you shed any light on this and possibly give us an idea of the kinds of Criterion titles we might expect to see as a result of this new relationship?

Jon Mulvaney: It is true - we plan to release a handful of Fox titles in 2004/5. But you guys know that I am not at liberty to divulge specifics! Suffice it to say that, if everything goes according to plan, you will be pleased. Several highly regarded directors and films from all periods of Fox studio history.
post #11  on December 27, 2003 - 8:31 AM PST  
DBrown, that's terrific news! Back in February, Fox UK pulled a previously announced DVD release of The Leopard, and shortly thereafter, Bfi held screenings of a new print throughout GB. I had a feeling that this would favorably alter the status of a DVD release. I'm anxious to know what other surprises Criterion has in store in 2004.
post #12  on December 27, 2003 - 8:03 PM PST  
post #13  on December 28, 2003 - 8:35 AM PST

hey, hamano! buona festa!

post #14  on February 29, 2004 - 3:18 AM PST  
Specs and cover art up at


-New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions (187 minutes)
-New transfer of the 161-minute American release, with English-language dialogue (including Burt Lancaster's actual voice)
-Audio commentary by film scholar Peter Cowie
-A Dying Breed, a new hour-long documentary featuring interviews with Claudia Cardinale, screenwriter Suso Ceccho D'Amico, cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno, Sydney Pollack, and many others
-An exclusive video interview with professor Millicent Marcus of the University of Pennsylvania on the history behind The Leopard
-Original theatrical trailers
-Stills gallery of rare behind-the-scenes production photos
-New and improved English subtitle translation
-Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
post #15  on February 29, 2004 - 5:02 PM PST  
Thanks very much for the update, DBrown.

I've been waiting a long time for this release and it appears that Criterion has succeeded in surpassing all of my expectations.

I own a copy of the Italian DVD, which by Criterion's standards, is something of a letdown. It will be interesting to compare the color and audio of the Criterion transfer alongside that of the Medusa DVD, not to mention the fact that the Criterion Italian version is seven minutes longer.

I find it amusing that Sydney Pollack makes an appearance in the documentary, since he, along with Lancaster, worked as editor of the American release which was severely cut, not to mention poorly dubbed. I am curious to hear what he has to say in that regard.
post #16  on March 3, 2004 - 1:10 PM PST  
While much has been written about The Leopard, the film itself has yet to find a wide audience. The magnificent book by Lampedusa is required reading in many Italian schools and is regarded as one of the masterpieces of 20th century Italian literature. Shortly after I saw the restored print in 1983, I picked up a copy of Il Gattopardo while in Italy, and in fact, read it during my first trip to Sicily. Several passages have stayed with me over the course of the last twenty years, many of which vividly come to life in the film.

I was going through my notes on Visconti and found some comments on The Leopard by New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, who described the film as "a sweeping popular epic, with obvious similarities to Gone with the Wind, and with an almost Chekhovian sensibility."" Referring to Lancaster's performance, Kael wrote, "We couldn't be any closer to Lancaster's Prince if we were inside his skin. We see what he sees, feel what he feels, and, in the last hour...we're inside his mind as he relives his life, experiences regret, and accepts the dying of his class and his own death. It's one of the greatest of all passages in movies.""

More to come...
post #17  on March 3, 2004 - 5:43 PM PST  
It seems fitting that Don Luchino Visconti , Conte di Modrone, the great aristocrat of Italian cinema, should have come to film an adaptation of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's grandiloquent eulogy to the dying noble houses of Sicily. It's evident that The Leopard suited Visconti's creative sensibilities, but it also mirrored his own family history, as the noble house of Visconti at one time was one of the ruling families of Lombardia. Obviously, Visconti saw in the story something of his ancestral past, and he possibly saw something of himself reflected in Don Fabrizio, the Prince of Salina. In fact, Burt Lancaster has stated that he modeled his portrayal of Don Fabrizio on Visconti.

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